Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Philippine police kill 145 key suspects in drug war

International parliamentarians display their message during a news conference in Manila Philippines. – AP International parliamentarians display their message during a news conference in Manila Philippines. – AP
Bennie Garza | 12 October, 2017, 18:18

In a memorandum dated October 10, Duterte directed the four agencies among others "to leave the PDEA, as a sole agency to conduct all campaigns and operations against all those who are involved in or connected with illegal drugs".

Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, the PNP spokesman, said they would follow Duterte's order, adding the police could now focus in their anti-criminality operations and "internal cleansing" to rid the agency of "scalawags" for their involvement drugs and other crmes. "Duterte must stop and scrap the "Oplan Tokhang" anti-drug campaign".

Nonetheless, PDEA was up to the task.

At that time, Duterte stripped the PNP and the NBI of the authority to conduct anti-illegal drug operations and designated the PDEA-backed by the Army- to continue the campaign.

Madrid said police officers may still make arrests if the illegal drug transaction is happening in front of them.

This will also be the second time that President Duterte ordered the PNP to stop all anti-drug operations nationwide.

"We are ready, we can do it", Carreon said.

Duterte did not explain in his memorandum why he pulled out the PNP from the anti-drug operations but police have lately been under heavy fire for alleged rampant abuses especially in the extra-judicial killings of children and minors that have drawn nationwide anger and indignation.

On January 30, 2017, Duterte instructed the PNP to dismantle all its anti-illegal drug units and "cleanse its ranks" of corrupt personnel following the kidnap and murder of a South Korean businessman inside Camp Crame.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President's latest directive simply meant that there was "substantial advances" on the administration's drug crackdown as the street distribution of narcotics already "degraded".

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday that Russia will donate a total of 5,000 Russian-made AK-47 Kalashnikov rifles, one of the world's most recognizable firearms.

Abella said the PDEA would now elevate the campaign against illegal drugs as it has widened its scope.

Thousands have been killed since he launched his controversial war on drugs in 2016.

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